Super Bowl deserves a super venue
We’re heading for New York City and Super Bowl XXXXXIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII, or whatever it is.
I’m here to tell you right now, the National Football League screwed up, Big Apple time.
Why in the world would the NFL schedule a Super Bowl in the Northeast in the dead of winter?
I know the Denver Broncos are playing.
I know Peyton Manning will be going after his second Super Bowl title.
I know it’s been 15 years since John Elway brought home the second straight Super Bowl title for the Broncos and this has been a long time coming.
Still, New York City? Or worse yet, East Rutherford, New Jersey?
You want to give a franchise city a perk, why not Charlotte, N.C.?
Why not Jacksonville, Fla., again? Lord knows the Jaguars and their fans can use some help.
Why not take it to Los Angeles and prepare that city for its next team?
Why not somewhere there is a chance of giving the Super horde a few decent days of weather?
OK, maybe I’m being too harsh.
Maybe the fans just don’t matter.
What about the game itself?
Football, as we all know, was created more than a century ago by a few boys looking to burn off a bit of excess energy outdoors.
The game in its infancy was one group of folks pushing and another group of folks pulling. At some point, the person with the strange-shaped ball was at the bottom of a pile, face in the mud.
Things have changed.
Football, especially in the NFL, is fast.
It more resembles basketball than rugby. It has become by the most modern practitioners a long upside-down pass from center to quarterback, who in turn tosses an assist to an unguarded person who may score a basket, er, touchdown.
Today’s football has become that way because the NFL deemed it to be what the fans wanted to watch. Rules have been changed to accommodate that game.
And now, the biggest game of the season, the biggest week-long fan extravaganza, is to be held in the Great Northeast in what has been billed as the first Mass Transit Bowl.
Got your game ticket? Board the subway and pray you are heading in the right direction. If you know when to debark (great word), you may end up at Super Bowl XLVIII. If not, you may end up in Baltimore … or Montpelier.
AccuWeather says game-time conditions will give us the mid- to upper-20s and 10- to 20-mph winds. Snow will be optional.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a winter storm to hit the Northeast over the weekend.
Does it bother me that we might be watching something akin to the Philadelphia Eagles playing the Detroit Lions in a blizzard (in Philly on Dec. 8) or the Broncos playing against the Patriots in the bitter cold and 30- to 40-mph winds (in New England on Nov. 24)?
Yes, it does.
Does it bother me that the NFL actually has contingency plans for miserable weather in place — they are providing ear muffs and gloves to all the ticket holders and have even gone so far as to plan a move to another date and site?
Yes, it does.
What happens if I spend my thousands for a Sunday Super ticket, my return flight is on a Monday afternoon out of LaGuardia, and the game is played Monday evening in Providence?
Does it bother me that I am not even considering a road trip to a place I could legitimately enjoy, and would I be considering a road trip to watch the Broncos play in Charlotte, Atlanta, San Diego, Miami, New Orleans or Dallas?
Yes, it does and, yes, I would.
And I haven’t even gotten to the one thing that really ticks me off: Does it bother me that a particular site would seemingly favor one team over the other?
Yes, it does.
This Super Bowl, set in February in a place where the Yankees and Mets have a difficult time playing baseball in April for goodness sake, gives an edge to a team that runs the ball well and relies on a stifling defense.
That, folks, is not the Denver Broncos.
And that, folks, is not right.
None of this is, except, of course, the Broncos reaching this stage.